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Taoism Drunkard (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Yuen Cheung Yan (Director, Actor) | Yuan Yat Choh (Actor) | Yuen Shin I (Actor) | Lo Wei (Producer)
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Taoism Drunkard (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
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Product Title: Taoism Drunkard (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 鬼馬天師 (DVD) (香港版) 鬼马天师 (DVD) (香港版) 鬼馬天師 Taoism Drunkard (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Yuen Cheung Yan (Actor) | Yuan Yat Choh (Actor) | Yuen Shin I (Actor) 袁祥仁 (Actor) | 袁日初 (Actor) | 袁信義 (Actor) 袁祥仁 (Actor) | 袁日初 (Actor) | 袁信义 (Actor) 袁祥仁(ユエン・チョンヤン) (Actor) | 袁日初(ユン・ヤッチョウ) (Actor) | Yuen Shin I (Actor) Yuen Cheung Yan (Actor) | Yuan Yat Choh (Actor) | Yuen Shin I (Actor)
Director: Yuen Cheung Yan 袁祥仁 袁祥仁 袁祥仁(ユエン・チョンヤン) Yuen Cheung Yan
Producer: Lo Wei 羅維 罗维 羅維(ロー・ウェイ) Lo Wei
Release Date: 2008-09-26
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-5
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: IIB
Duration: 91 (mins)
Publisher: Joy Sales (HK)
Package Weight: 110 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1012002378

Product Information

Director : Yuen Cheung Yan
Producer : Law Wei

In the Taoist Temple of Dragon Tiger Mountain, a drunken Taoist lived there. His behavior and appearance were different from ordinary people. He was careless, contemptuous of everything and addicted to drink. One day, due to his carelessness, the Exorcist idol was broken. He was punished to find a cherry boy for the consecration of new idol. He should be born in the year of "Gang Sun", the 15th of August at midnight. In order to find that cherry boy, the drunken Taoist tried his best and caused a lot of funny events. 10 years ago, there was a devil who was cruel and brutal, often broke the rules and was expelled from of the Clan. He came back for revenge and to seize away the Leader's writ. After many battles, they finally killed the devil in the Taoist Temple Mountain.

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Taoism Drunkard (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

November 6, 2008

Originally released in 1983, Taoism Drunkard (released previously in the West under the moniker Drunken Wutang) is another insane martial arts comedy from the Yuen Clan, who were also responsible for such nonsensical delights as Miracle Fighters and Shaolin Drunkard. Produced by Lo Wei, the film was directed by Yuen Cheung Yan, who also plays the title character, a much loved role which he had essayed on many other occasions. Even by the wacky standards of the genre, or indeed of the Yuen Clan themselves, the film is a pretty far out affair, frequently defying belief with its antics, though thankfully in cheerful and highly entertaining fashion.

Politely put, the plot is difficult to describe. The film begins as the villainous Old Devil (classic kung fu villain Sunny Yuen) attempts to steal a mystical writ that belongs to the leader of the clan that previously expelled him for his wicked ways. After he is thwarted, the action switches to the bumbling drunkard Taoist priest of the title (played by Yuen Cheung Yan), who runs into trouble up at the temple on Dragon Tiger Mountain after he manages to break a sacred statue.

The abbot charges him with begging enough money to fix the statue, as well as finding a "cherry boy" (i.e., a virgin) who was born at midnight on the 15th of August in the year of "Gang Sun". Though he doesn't put much effort into his search beyond rounding up a few kids and trying to examine their nether regions, he eventually comes across Yuen Chu (Yat Chor Yuen, also in the Shaw Brothers films The Lizard and Duel of Fists, a young hothead whose grandmother (also Yuen Cheung Yan) just happens to be the guardian of the writ. Needless to say, Old Devil soon turns up to cause trouble and the two have to join forces to stop him getting his hands on it.

It really cannot be stressed enough that Taoism Drunkard is an insane piece of filmmaking. If nothing else, this is underlined in bold type by the presence of the "banana monster", a big round bomb (possibly) that speaks in a high-pitched voice, and has a red-lipsticked mouth full of sharp teeth, which shoots out nipple grabbing tentacles. Even without this crazy creature the film would still stand as some kind of landmark in defiance of cinematic logic, with the plot staggering around in the same drunken manner as Yuen Cheung Yan's Taoist priest, flitting between characters on a whim and frequently shooting off on bizarre tangents.

Although this makes the film difficult to follow in a traditional narrative sense, it works very well as a scattershot comedy, thanks to its wacky creativity, Yuen's high energy direction, and above all, its irrepressible sense of fun. The slapstick comes thick and fast, and is imaginatively staged throughout, with a number of clever set pieces, including the priest's driving of a small mouse shaped car and a hilarious bout of eighties-style robot dancing, which comes complete with a sudden burst of electronic music. Unconstrained by such trifling concerns as logic or good sense, Yuen throws in a wild array of gags, making the most of such genre stalwarts as a massive woman whose martial arts skills consist of sitting on people, as well as plenty of crotch bashing and accidental urine drinking. The film packs in an incredible array of delightfully surreal moments, and as such it really is hard not to get caught up in all the craziness. Athough the film is incredibly random, Yuen ensures that the proceedings never frustrate or distance the viewer.

Gags aside, the film does feature a fair amount of honest martial arts action, with some decent fight choreography. Of course, most of the duels are a little hard to take seriously, being filled with high-flying wirework and jaw dropping magical moves, though they are exciting nonetheless and Yuen has the good sense to throw in a brawl any time the pace threatens to flag, which, it has to be said, is not often.

As such, Taoism Drunkard stands as a classic piece of over-the-top Hong Kong entertainment, and is required viewing for fans of martial arts comedies. Endearingly insane and raucously amusing, it shows the kind of mad creativity at the heart of the genre's golden age back in the early 1980s, and which has sadly rarely been seen of late.

By James Mudge - BeyondHollywood.com

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